If you want to start a blog, then it’s my personal opinion (after having also tried Blogger and Typepad) that WordPress is the best platform. The reasons why are worth a dedicated post. For now, let’s talk about how much it costs to start a blog on WordPress.
The Big Takeaway
Pricing is one of the biggest barriers to starting a blog. It can be a big financial commitment. Therefore, I recommend starting out small and getting one year to start so you can see how things go before investing more. Based on my recommendation of using WordPress.org with SiteGround for domain and hosting, you can expect to pay $74.35 at sign-up for your first year.
Read on for a detailed breakdown…
Note: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase using one of these links, I may make a small commission at no extra charge to you.
First Question: Which WordPress?
You have to decide which WordPress you want to use to start your blog. And yes, there are two of them: WordPress.com vs WordPress.org. They have different costs.
WordPress.com: Free Everything with Paid Upgrade Options
Cost: Free (with options to upgrade)
- Software: Free
- Domain/URL: Free (though you’ll be yourblogname.wordpress.com – a dedicated domain is an upgrade)
- Hosting: Free
- Theme: Free
Free looks nice, no? Why on earth would I not recommend this? Simple. You cannot use any plugin or theme you’d like with WordPress.com, which could be a limitation as your blog grows. I wrote more about this in a separate post.
WordPress.org: Free Software But You Do Domain and Hosting *My Recommendation*
Since all of my experience is with WordPress.org, this post is basically on how much it costs to start a blog with WordPress.org in 2017.
Cost: Breakdown follows…
So, How Much Does It Cost to Start a Blog on WordPress.org?
What You’ll Need
- Software: Free download at WordPress.org
- Domain/URL: Depends on your choice (I break down my recommendations below)
- Hosting: Depends on your choice (I break down my recommendations below)
- Theme: Free (with premium theme options galore)
There are endless options for purchasing your domain and hosting. I did hours of research before choosing mine. Based on that research and personal experience, I recommend using either BlueHost or SiteGround. I’ll break both down based on current research…
Domain and Hosting Cost Breakdown
While domain and hosting can be purchased separately, unless you’re pretty tech-savvy (or willing to put in some extra work), I recommend getting both from the same source. Unless you’re starting a bunch of sites, the cost difference isn’t significant. Also, please note I added in domain privacy because I personally purchase it for all of my domains and recommend it. If you don’t get it, your personal information can be publicly available online.
Note: While the pricing for domain and hosting can be fairly complex, I’ve tried to simplify things as much as possible. Questions? Leave a comment. I’ll do my best to make this clear and will be making updates if things aren’t.
It Depends on How Many Years You Buy
What’s the Deal with $3.95/Month?
Both BlueHost and SiteGround offer a low $3.95/month cost for hosting. However, you must buy three years of hosting up front to get this price with BlueHost. Whereas SiteGround will let you get this rate and only purchase one year (with the option to lock the rate in for three years by purchasing all three up front).
And You Get a Free Domain?
You get your first domain free on BlueHost with hosting purchase. However, you must purchase a domain with SiteGround.
SiteGround vs Bluehost When You Purchase 1 Year
Key Points on Purchasing 1 Year:
- The per month rate is much higher on BlueHost when you purchase only one year up front.
- However, since the domain isn’t free with SiteGround, your cost at set-up evens out.
- This is a good way to test out your interest in blogging with a smaller financial commitment.
- The calculations use .com pricing (other extensions may cost more or less).
- Note: hosting rates can increase after the first year (for example: SiteGround goes up to $9.95/month for hosting the next year).
If you’re super-super committed to making blogging work, you can do what I did and purchase three (or even two) years up front. This will save you some money in the long run but only if you’re planning to blog for more than one year.
Ready to Start Your Blog?
Not Quite Ready?
Click here to read my comparison of WordPress.com vs WordPress.org (based on experience, asking around, and all that jazz)
Thanks for reading! Questions? Leave me a comment!